Listen... the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra is playing

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Music of the night... and day!

It’s hard to believe the ESO concert season has been wrapped up for nearly two weeks. Though the administrative staff of the ESO is certainly enjoying a slightly slower work pace, and we’re filling up our now open evenings and weekends with summer activities, we can’t help but detect the noticeably eerie silence that has begun to resonate between the walls of the Winspear.

Be it in daytime rehearsals or evening performances, the luminous sounds of the orchestra never failed to fill up our offices and the entire building with a powerful musical energy and sense of anticipation. These days, our anticipation secretly lies in the next time that harmonious energy will propel us through the work day… our work not in the Winspear however, but rather amidst the beautiful lush scenery of Hawrelak Park!

Even though summer is just a few days old, many of us are eagerly awaiting the return of Sobeys Symphony Under the Sky, which wraps up the summer festival season here in Canada’s Festival City, Edmonton. Pretty soon, the nighttime and daytime sky high above the Heritage Amphitheatre, will be filled with the echoing sounds of strings, brass, woodwinds, and percussion (as in real cannons from the Royal Canadian Artillery!) … may the geese and ducks be duly forewarned as of today!

However, until Labour Day weekend arrives, I suppose I’ll just have to make my own stimulating music… that of lifting the tuneful notes of Suzuki songs for violin off the page and into the (hopefully soundproof) basement of the Winspear. I don’t, afterall, want to de-energize any of my colleagues with my novice performance ability.

Heritage Amphitheatre, home to the ESO during
Sobeys Symphony Under the Sky

Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, featuring the the guns and members of the Royal Canadian Artillery


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

More on social media and the arts

The Columbus Dispatch recently posted an article about the ways Ohio arts organizations are using social networking. Nothing really new here, but it's an interesting round-up of all the different ways that non-profits are connecting with their patrons. Read more about cultural groups using social networking here.

Posted using ShareThis

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

"judged solely on artistic merit"

The "long list" for the Polaris Music Prize has been released, and it includes the likes of Leonard Cohen and Joel Plaskett. Here's the article on CBC, and if you've got a little more time to explore, here's the list of 40 artists on the Polaris website, which includes links to each long-listed nominee's website and myspace page. That's a lot of listening!

This prize has been getting more and more attention over the years, and it's a great way to showcase new and established Canadian artists. Albums are "judged solely on artistic merit" and it's quite a diverse group too... check out one of the eligibility rules:
All forms of contemporary music (including, but not limited to, pop, rock, hip-hop, R&B, electronic, experimental, jazz, classical, instrumental, country and blues, or any combination of the above, and including genres not mentioned or invented at the time these rules where written) are eligible for the Polaris Music Prize.
I like the part about "genres not invented" yet.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Those were the days

Today Neatorama features the stories behind 10 TV theme songs, including one famous one written by none other than Alan Thicke!


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Sobeys Symphony Under the Sky

Just a quick note that Sobeys Symphony Under the Sky tickets are available now! Our annual outdoor festival at Hawrelak Park runs from September 4 - 7 this year - that's the labour day long weekend. If you haven't attended before, you really should try it out.

The festival is designed to give a little taste of everything we do. There's some "serious" classical music the first night... at least, as serious as Bill Eddins performing Gershwin can be. Another concert features lighter classics, another movie music, another is all Frank Sinatra tunes sung by Steve Lippia, and the final concert, as always, features the 1812 Overture with real cannons.

It's informal, it's fun, it's romantic... ok, I won't try and sell you on this anymore, just go!


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Lituus returns

From the BBC, a story about the return of a long lost instrument, thanks to computer software modeling.

An interesting bit at the end of the article says:
"The software also opens up the possibility that brass instruments could be customised more closely to the needs of individual players in the future - catering more closely for the differing needs of jazz, classical and other players all over the world."
It's certainly not unusual for a musician to have a custom-made instrument, but this seems to take it a step further - almost like genetic modification for musical instruments.